Rockets launched from Gaza at Ashkelon
Rockets launched from Gaza at Ashkelon
Photo: AFP
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Bennett hold security consultations at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv

Rockets from Gaza strike for a second time in hours

Sirens blared in Ashkelon and border area communities as Netanyahu and Bennett were holding security consultations at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv as the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket fire

Elior Levy, Yoav Zitun |
Updated: 02.23.20 , 22:36
Sirens blared as a second barrage of rockets Sunday shook southern Israel as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett were holding security consultations at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv.
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  • The Islamic Jihad terror group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.
    ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בהערכת מצב בקריה ונפתלי בנטראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו בהערכת מצב בקריה ונפתלי בנט
    Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Bennett hold security consultations at the military headquarters in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Courtesy of the defense ministry)
    Earlier more than 20 rockets were launched from Gaza Sunday targeting the border communities and the southern city of Ashkelon. The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 10 of them while the rest fell in open fields.
    People taking cover as rockets launched from Gaza at Ashkelon People taking cover as rockets launched from Gaza at Ashkelon
    People taking cover as rockets launched from Gaza at Ashkelon
    (Photo: Alex Brutman)

    The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted at least 10 rocket and the rest fell in open fields.
    Iron Dome intercepts rockets from Gaza over AshkelonIron Dome intercepts rockets from Gaza over Ashkelon
    Iron Dome intercepts rockets from Gaza over Ashkelon
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The Hamas and Islamic Jihad Gaza-based terror groups threatened to avenge the death of at least one of two militants who were shot while attempting to plant explosives on the Gaza border fence.
    An IDF force foiled the removal of the slain militant by the Gaza factions and recovered the body itself.

    The IDF claims the body can be used in future negotiations with Hamas for the return of two civilian captives and the bodies of two fallen soldiers all believed held in Gaza.
    The explosive device that was placed 40 meters from the border fence was described by the military as powerful. Still, the IDF warns against terminating talks for an understanding with Hamas.
    The Gaza rulers said in reaction to events on the border that the IDF conducted "the murder of a young man and an abuse of his remains and that is an evil crime for which Israel must bear responsibility."
    Hamas also warned there would be missiles fired at Tel Aviv in response after the dead militant was identified as a 27-year old member of the organization's military wing.
    Demonstrations broke out in several locations in the Gaza Strip with protesters calling for revenge.
    מהומות שריפת צמיגים עזה מהומות שריפת צמיגים עזה
    Protesters in Gaza call for revenge over the mistreatment of a dead militant by Israel
    Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al Zahar said that the recent steps taken by Israel to alleviate some of the restrictions on the residents of Gaza were a response to pressure and not part of the future understanding being negotiated with the help of international mediators. "Israel understands only force," Zahar said shortly before $12 million in Qatari aid was transported across the border. “Israel will see calm if it fulfills its commitments," he said.
    A video clip showing the removal of the dead militant from the scene quickly spread on social media causing outrage and calls for revenge. The IDF then released another clip showing the militants as they were placing the explosive device meant to target the Israeli forces.
    נפתלי בנט נואםנפתלי בנט נואם
    Defense Minister Naftali Bennett
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Defense Minister Naftali Bennett backed the IDF seizure of the body by the troops, "I am sick of the hypocritical left-wing criticism of the 'inhumanity' of using a bulldozer to bring us the body of a terrorist who tried to murder (!) Israelis," Bennett wrote on Twitter.
    "Hamas is holding the bodies of [fallen soldiers] Hadar Goldin and Oron [Shaul]," he said. "I back the IDF that killed the terrorists and collected the body. This is how we should and will act."
    The incident began when IDF troops spotted the two militants approaching the border fence north of Khan Yunis and placed a device identified as a bomb against the fence.
    IDF troops from the Kfir Brigade, which is responsible for the area, rushed to the scene and opened fire at the two Palestinians before the device exploded, killing at least one.

    First published: 20:37 , 02.23.20
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